Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Rover P4

Here's a painting that I did a few years back. The car shown is a British Rover model P4.
The Rover P4 was designed post war as a comfortable, and some would say luxurious family saloon. The model range was designated 75 through to 110, those figures relating to the engine size and power.

The 75 models had an economical four cylinder engine while the larger 90's had an in-line six. The car had rear opening 'suicide' doors, a plush interior of walnut and sumptuous leather, and an engine so smooth and quiet that at standstill the driver could be forgiven for thinking that the car had stalled! On my one and only drive of this model I had to keep checking the gear lever when stopped at traffic lights, feeling for the slight tingle of movement to let me know the motor was still running!

Of course this luxury came at a price and the Rover was bought in the main by Professionals, Doctors, company managers or similar status. To have a Rover P4 was to know that you had done well in life!

As the 1960's dawned and some cars were now 10 years old or so, many filtered down into the hands of those that could never afford them new, and thus continued in daily service. These cars could still be seen unrestored, and in daily use well into the 1980's which is a testament to their toughness, reliability, and build quality.

The saddest time for me personally was perhaps the late 1970's when these cars were deemed 'old fashioned' and therefore unfashionable to the hip and trendy 70's man. So many good examples were sold for next to nothing as their value plummeted, and they were eagerly bought up by the 'Banger racing' crowd who happily destroyed them in their thousands. The very qualities that made them such a quality saloon car, the toughness, 'built like a tank' build quality, and reliability, were eventually to be the reason that so many were destroyed in Banger racing.

The photograph below has nothing at all to do with Rover P4's...I was just struck by the similarity of composition between it and my painting!


emikk said...

You have a lot of great pictures and art.

The Old Nail said...

Thank you. I'll be posting more so please call back again.